The losses raise questions about how Trump stands as he heads to what will be a grueling 2020 campaign. Throwing in three contests – each claiming Trump wins in double digits in 2016 – the president has he hoped to take the course of political inertia at a dangerous moment in his presidency.
Those close to the president claim that he cannot be blamed for the results of Kentucky and Louisiana. Bevin was one of the least popular governors in the country, while Rispone was a relatively unknown political novice who was confronted by popular Democratic Governor John Bell Edwards. While the president can help, they argue that he may not always be expected to pull under-candidates through the finish line.
But Trump has tried to turn every contest into a referendum for himself ̵
"In two days, I really need you, but you really need you to send a message to the corrupt Democrats in Washington," he said. "They are corrupt. They are crazy, crazy. "
After the Kentucky defeat, the president added that he rides a lot on Louisiana.
"So Trump took the loss," the president said, referring to Bevin's defeat. "So you have to make a big profit for me, please. OK? Okay? "
Trump's involvement in the Louisiana contest was particularly large-scale: In addition to the rallies, he entered conservative radio stations on behalf of Rispone, recorded recordings and videos for exit and vote, and sent a stream of tweets rescuing Edwards. On Saturday, the president wrote several tweets encouraging Louisiana to release its Rispone newsletters.
Trump's political operation also invested heavily, with the Republican National Committee spending $ 2 million on the race. The president is personally interested in the competition, questioning development aides and allies.
During a speech on a radio program in Louisiana on Friday, Vice President Mike Pence noted that "the president and I left all this on the ground."
Rispon was equally aggressive in his attachment to the president, largely dismissing public statements. in favor of a Trump-focused, high-dollar television advertising campaign. This summer, he released spots where he proudly announced he was donating to the president in 2016 and even put Trump's bumper sticker on his truck. In recent weeks leading up to the election, he has been broadcasting ads with footage of the president tearing Edwards apart.
The defeat in Louisiana heightened the concerns of some of the president's orbit that he had spent too much political capital on the three extraterrestrial races. Some people close to the president worried that he would take primary responsibility for the losses and that winning each of the races was an extremely high order. Other Republicans were surprised that the president held a last-minute rally Thursday night, given that the race was not a sure thing.
Louisiana was particularly difficult, despite its conservative inclination. Edwards has records as a staunchly conservative Democrat. And critics of Rispone's campaign claim that his reliance on television ads rather than a personal event made it extremely difficult for the president to draw him to victory. Other senior Republicans described a casual campaign operation that often seemed to lack a clear message and strategy.
"This loss has nothing to do with President Trump. He was not on the ballot, "said Lionel Rainey, a GOP consultant based in Louisiana who works for Rispone's main opponent, GOP Rep. Ralph Abraham." It depends on the candidate to convince a majority of voters to vote for him. Rispone's campaign
"Just aligning with another politician, even the president, is not enough," added Rainey.
John Kuvilon, a Louisiana pollster who usually works with Republicans, said a number of local challenges make it difficult to save Trump's mission: Rispone fights to win supporters of Abraham and Edwards managed to increase turnout.
"There is an increased expectation that only because Trump appears [for] a Republican candidate that a Republican candidate can win,"
Perhaps the greatest challenge for Trump was to persuade the Louisians to include Edwards, whom he repeatedly raped as a "radical liberal."
Edwards, who opposes abortion rights and supports gun rights, is careful about Trump. He avoided criticizing the president and instead chose to highlight the visits he made to the White House during Trump's term. At one point this year, Edwards even launched a television commercial promoting an upcoming presidential visit to the country.
Edwards, whom Trump called the "unsuccessful far left man" during Thursday's rally, signaled to the president to shout in his speech for victory.
"Our shared love for Louisiana is always more important than the partisan differences that sometimes divide us," Edwards told supporters. "And as for the President: God bless his heart."